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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Outboard
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Old 05-25-2014
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New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

Picked up my new outboard yesterday. I bought it from an estate sale. It still had the tags on it and the family said it had never been used. $550 and it was mine.

I put it in the outboard well, follow all directions and pull the cord. Nothing. Pull, pull, pull. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Frustrated, I check the plug. It's good. Next I check the fuel, and this is where it gets interesting. There is no fuel flowing to the fuel pump. I was using the internal tank and it's gravity fed to the pump, no priming needed.

I ended up pulling the fuel tank off and then pulled the fuel line off the diverter valve (internal/external). Fuel flows freely. Next I pull the fuel line off the fuel pump. No gas! Change the diverter to internal, and, voila, fuel starts flowing, and the engine starts on the first pull.

I suspect that the motor had been sitting awhile and a vacuum developed between the diverter valve and the fuel pump, and the gravity feed wasn't enough to compensate.

It's nice to finally have an engine that I can trust...

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Old 05-25-2014
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Re: New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericb760 View Post
Picked up my new outboard yesterday. I bought it from an estate sale. It still had the tags on it and the family said it had never been used. $550 and it was mine.

I put it in the outboard well, follow all directions and pull the cord. Nothing. Pull, pull, pull. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Frustrated, I check the plug. It's good. Next I check the fuel, and this is where it gets interesting. There is no fuel flowing to the fuel pump. I was using the internal tank and it's gravity fed to the pump, no priming needed.

I ended up pulling the fuel tank off and then pulled the fuel line off the diverter valve (internal/external). Fuel flows freely. Next I pull the fuel line off the fuel pump. No gas! Change the diverter to internal, and, voila, fuel starts flowing, and the engine starts on the first pull.

I suspect that the motor had been sitting awhile and a vacuum developed between the diverter valve and the fuel pump, and the gravity feed wasn't enough to compensate.

It's nice to finally have an engine that I can trust...

I have the Tohatsu 6HP, 4 stroke, I think the same basic engine. You didn't mention the fuel selector valve/switch on the right side of the engine. IIRC, without going downstairs, there are small icons showing an external tank & something else which must be in the "something else" position. Also, there is a rubber cap that covers the external tank connection. Make sure it fits on there very tightly to avoid an air leak. Check the tank vent, maybe try starting with the cap off?

I found it is critical to follow the starting instructions exactly, Choke all the way out, throttle on the "start" position only. I had the same experience you had when first starting it. The internal tank takes quite a few hard pulls to finally fire. Make sure you are getting spark before pulling your arm off.

Tohatsu has user manuals on line.

Paul T

Forgot this. First, I have no way to know what your experience/ knowledge levels are, so, If I am telling you something you already know, my apologies. All this assumes the engine has not been run:

1. My engine was delivered without oil in it. Oil is good, holds about 16 oz, IIRC.

2. Make sure the kill switch lanyard clip is securely pressed on/in to the fitting just below the red kill button. No lanyard clip, no spark.

3. Test for spark by removing the plug, re-install the ignition wire, and tightly holding the base of the plug against a bare metal part of the block. Pull the cord, you should see a bright blue/white spark. The gap should be about .035" or so, IIRC.

4. If the plug is wet/dirty it means too much fuel is probably reaching it.

5. Loosen the drain screw at the very bottom of the carb. Fuel should run out. If not, it is not reaching the float bowl.

6. If it drains, re tighten the drain screw, repeat starting procedure. If no fire, re-drain, new fuel should come out. I don't think it will drain continuously? I think it has to be pumped in there?

7. If you are getting spark & if you are getting continuous fuel to the float bowl, it is possible/probable there was fuel left in the carb over a long period of time, not good. This will require a thorough cleaning of the carb.

8. HOWEVER, before ripping the carb off, you might try taking the intake fitting off the carb & squirting a LITTLE bit of fuel into the carb mouth. You should get at least a pop or two out of the engine. If that happens , before taking the carb off, you might try putting a couple ozs of carb clearer in the tank, run some more fuel through the carb drain, pull it through a few hundred times and let it set for a day or two. Then re-drain & try to start it. If you see any debris at all on the rag you drained into, it is deep doo-doo time, off with the carb.

All this will be much easier if you bring it home, fill up a garbage can & run it there . Suggest you do not run it with no water flowing through, even for just a short time. Let us know how it comes out.

Paul T

Last edited by dabnis; 05-25-2014 at 01:51 PM.
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Re: New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

Oh my, my apologies, I missed this:

Quote:
Change the diverter to internal, and, voila, fuel starts flowing, and the engine starts on the first pull.
I guess after reading the first part of your post, having similar problems starting it, I assumed it wouldn't start, new glasses?

I thought your comment about a dependable motor was a bit of sarcasm.

Paul T

Last edited by dabnis; 05-25-2014 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014
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Re: New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

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Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
Oh my, my apologies, I missed this:



I guess after reading the first part of your post, having similar problems starting it, I assumed it wouldn't start, new glasses?

I thought your comment about a dependable motor was a bit of sarcasm.

Paul T
The motor starts on the first pull now, and I'm following the break-in instructions that were attached to it. I was being absolutely serious that I can trust this motor, whereas the old Johnson did nothing but frustrate me...
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Old 05-26-2014
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Re: New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

break it in hard, dont ***** it or the rings will never seat

theres my 2 cents

various oil changes too

enjoy
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Old 05-26-2014
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Re: New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericb760 View Post
The motor starts on the first pull now, and I'm following the break-in instructions that were attached to it. I was being absolutely serious that I can trust this motor, whereas the old Johnson did nothing but frustrate me...
Our 6HP 4 stroke Tohatsu is going on its third year. After I figured out the starting drill (follow the instructions), no problems. Ran/runs perfectly right out of the box, even at 6,000 feet elevation. If you use the external tank don't over squeeze the bulb, as it is easy to flood

From your photo it looks like you have to pull straight up to start it? Our Coronado 25 had a well similar to yours but had a 4" X 6", or so,hole, with a lockable cover on it which allowed us to pull straight back when starting.

I have seen fixtures, mounted on the engine that routes the cord 90 degrees up to reduce friction & wear on the cord. Might be good to carry a spare cord.

Paul T
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Old 05-26-2014
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Re: New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

I bought a new one last year....beat the crap out of it crabbing,fishing & cruising...always wfo no break in...never missed a beat.
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Old 05-26-2014
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Re: New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
Our 6HP 4 stroke Tohatsu is going on its third year. After I figured out the starting drill (follow the instructions), no problems. Ran/runs perfectly right out of the box, even at 6,000 feet elevation. If you use the external tank don't over squeeze the bulb, as it is easy to flood

From your photo it looks like you have to pull straight up to start it? Our Coronado 25 had a well similar to yours but had a 4" X 6", or so,hole, with a lockable cover on it which allowed us to pull straight back when starting.

I have seen fixtures, mounted on the engine that routes the cord 90 degrees up to reduce friction & wear on the cord. Might be good to carry a spare cord.

Paul T
My Johnson had that attachment. The picture doesn't reflect the true dimensions of the well. On this Mercury, the pull cord sits higher on the engine. So, it's not a straight, level pull, but it's not enough of an angle to effect starting it, or putting any upward strain on the pull cord.
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Last edited by ericb760; 05-26-2014 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 05-27-2014
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Re: New Mercury 4HP 4 Stroke

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericb760 View Post
My Johnson had that attachment. The picture doesn't reflect the true dimensions of the well. On this Mercury, the pull cord sits higher on the engine. So, it's not a straight, level pull, but it's not enough of an angle to effect starting it, or putting any upward strain on the pull cord.
All is well(sorry). I had a variety of Johnson/Evinrude 2 strokes for many years & uses. They were the most bullet proof, reliable, simple, light weight motors we had. Too bad yours wasn't feeling well.

The only reason I bought the Tohatsu 4 stroke was to be able to fish in Lake Tahoe, which will not allow carbureted 2 strokes, which we finally gave up doing because of the complex, costly invasive species inspection program. I had a 6 HP 2 stroke Johnson, which I gave to my daughter, which ran perfectly.

By the way, great price on your motor, ours ran about $1,600.

Paul T
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